Thomas Barrack, a close adviser to former President Donald Trump and chairman of his inaugural committee, is coming to a trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in downtown Brooklyn, New York City, on July 26, 2021.
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Private equity investor Thomas Barrack and a co-defendant pleaded not guilty on Monday in Brooklyn, New York, for illegally lobbying his friend, ex-President Donald Trump, on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.
When he entered the courthouse prior to his indictment, the 74-year-old Barrack was met by a man who struck up a sign reading “Traitor” in large black letters.
This is the same message – conveyed by what appears to be the same person – that Trump’s 2016 campaign leader Paul Manafort and his ally Roger Stone often welcomed during their federal criminal cases that ended in convictions.
Those convictions were later overturned when Trump pardoned both men shortly before he left office.
When asked by a reporter how he would argue on the charges, Barrack replied, “Guys, I know you’re just doing your job – I’ll talk to you on the way out.”
Barrack had been on bail until Friday when a federal judge released him on bail of $ 250 million, one of the largest criminal bail in history.
The bond was backed by $ 5 million in cash, more than $ 21 million in securities and Barracks House in California.
Since Barrack’s release, a judge has ordered him to stay with his lawyers. It was also fitted with an electronic wristband with GPS monitoring.
Prosecutors issued a detention memo last week that raised concerns that Barrack, given his Lebanese citizenship and access to a private jet, might flee to avoid charges.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort (2nd R) arrives with his wife Kathleen Manafort (R) in the Albert V. Bryan US Courthouse to bring charges when a protester holds up a sign on March 8, 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia.
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Barrack, who never registered with the American government as an agent for the oil-rich UAE, is also charged with obstruction of justice and multiple false statements during an interview with federal police officers in June 2019.
Prosecutors said that while representing the UAE’s interests in the Trump administration, Barrack was informally advising US officials on Middle East policy and seeking appointment to a senior role in the US government, including special envoy for the Middle East.
The indictment also accuses another man, UAE national Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, 43, who remains at large.
Roger Stone, a longtime advisor to President Donald Trump, arrives at the Prettyman United States Courthouse before being indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for lying to Congress and manipulating witnesses on January 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. Stone, a self-described “dirty political trickster,” said he was falsely accused and would plead “not guilty”.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
Last Friday, Falcon Acquisition, a Barrack-backed acquisition vehicle, withdrew its registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, indicating it was abandoning proposed transactions.
The transactions included an IPO of 25 million shares to raise $ 250 million for the Falcon Acquisition, founded by Barracks Family Office Falcon Peak and TI Capital. The SPAC had planned to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
Barrack stepped down as CEO of Colony Capital, a private equity firm he founded, in 2020. In April he resigned as the company’s CEO.